PIERRE – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department unveiled a plan to sell six tracts of land across the eastern part of the state as part of an evaluation effort of Game Production Areas (GPAs).
Staff discussed the plan at the June GFP commission meeting, revealing specific properties and the basis on the decision.
“The GFP Commission and Secretary Robling encouraged us to take a long look at all our properties to determine whether they’re still providing the public with the wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities originally intended,” GFP Habitat Supervisor Paul Coughlin said.
“Our staff evaluated various real properties based on ease of public access and use, habitat management opportunities, access to public waters, location to other public lands and waters, wildlife use, surrounding landscape, tract size, and any title restrictions associated with the property. A list of potential disposals was compiled consisting of lowest ranking tracts.”
The initial properties identified for disposal are:
• West Lake Poinsett GPA
Acres: 40 acres
Location: 4 miles southeast of Lake Norden in Hamlin County
• South Buffalo Lake East GPA
Acres: 60 acres
Location: 7.5 miles east of Eden in Marshall County
• Mondry Portion of Pickerel Lake GPA
Acres: 9 acres
Location: 6 miles east of Grenville in Day County
• Mallard Slough GPA
Acres: +/- 80 acres
Location: 14 miles northeast of Huron in Beadle County
• North Sanborn GPA
Acres: +/- 51
Location: 9 miles northeast of Woonsocket in Sanborn County
• Schartner Ditch GPA
Acres: +/- 15
Location: 7 miles northwest of Marion in Turner County
Coughlin explained the funds from the sale of lands will be directed to acquiring other real property more suited to GFP needs and the needs of our constituents.
“We strive to be efficient and effective in providing recreational opportunities on GFP managed lands,” Coughlin said. “Disposing of these GPA’s will improve overall agency efficiency and effectiveness by replacing those properties with lands that better meet GFP needs.”
Coughlin also said the disposal process can begin immediately, with the specific timeline for completing disposal of each individual tract undefined due to factors associated with the disposal process such as public input opportunities, property appraisals, and scheduling public auctions.